Friday, December 11, 2009

St. John's Bible volumes donated to St. Catherine's University

Thursday, a vespers service in Our Lady of Victory chapel at St. Catherine's University presented and made use of a fine arts edition of the of the world's newest hand-scribed, illustrated Bible. It was donated to the university by Lois Rogers of Long Lake and her husband. Rogers, herself a 1963 graduate of St. Catherine's, and her husband John donated one of three volumes of the lavishly illustrated Bibles to the school. The image shows a detail of the Book of Ecclesiastes. Pioneer Press

Since the time that pages of the St. John's Bible have been appearing some people take great offense at the images and the style of painting that has been used. Probably they aren't familiar with what "illuminated manuscripts" looked like in the days when monks in monasteries would spend their entire lives copying and illuminating Bibles and other spiritual worksfor used by monks and priests in their monasteries. Here are a couple of examples:

Genesis Wenceslaus Bible, German, 1389

The Descent of the Holy Spirit Black Hours, c. 1475

Click on the images to get a larger size.

Illuminated Manuscript Art


gm said...

Did you happen to look at the other photos from the vespers service? Oh my, I guess I must be old fashioned.

Unknown said...

my initial reaction to the photograph was that someone had vandalized and desecrated a bible unlike the fake desecration of a koran.

Julie Michener said...

Actually the Pioneer Press online slide show has a bit of misinformation. The Rogers have donated an entire heritage edition (seven volumes total) of The Saint John's Bible to St. Catherine University, not just one volume.

Unknown said...

Thank you, Julie.

I thought about that a lot. I couldn't figure if they had donated three volumes which I thought at first, then I figured it was just one of the the three.

I'm glad to have your correction. I would imagine that ultimately they will have a complete set is published.

I don't imagine they will be in their circulating collection, though.

Jane said...

So it is a recreation of the Saint John's Bible? Was the girl dancing in the picture today. I'm confused.

Unknown said...

They presented the three volumes at a Vespers service in the chapel. Apparently it included some liturgical dancing. That is permitted at prayer services.

Go to the Pioneer Press article for all that was reported.

Terry Nelson said...

For those unfamiliar with the art of illumination the blog Lion and The Cardinal frequently posts beautiful examples. A recent post on the illuminations of St. Hildegarde may interest those who think something is wrong with the style of the St. John's Bible. (There isn't of course - it is a masterpiece.)
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